Ajitha / India
“Not more than 4 month ago, I told my parents that I’m off to Chennai to seek a job. But in all honesty I was running away from my family and the society. I come from a small village in Tamil Nadu — from a humble and orthodox background. Hence ‘coming out’ in my village was unfathomable. So I ran away! I ran for a new life — that is true to myself.
I came to Chennai without a plan. Through the journey from my village to Chennai, I looked up organisations that support trans persons and I came across PeriFerry. I called them as soon I reached and told them to help me. The team came almost immediately to see me at the railway station but as my luck had it, my phone stopped working. I spent the entire day trying to fix my phone but I couldn’t. The same night, I managed to fix it and called the team again. This time we planned to meet the next morning. I was certain to inform my whereabouts in advance and stay right there!
I met the team and they reassured that I am not alone. I was told that anybody could gain financial independence for as long as one works hard for it. I was advised to go back home and not come out until something was arranged. I did just that — I went back home and waited for the opportunity. After a month of waiting, I was called in for a training program. Without any hesitation, I agreed to be a part of it.
During the training program, it was the first time that I met so many trans people together. Each with their own experiences to share, each with their own battles to fight. For the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged. I made friends for a lifetime, some of them told me how to navigate through various family and professional issues. I felt at home for a brief while.
When I reflect over the last 4 months of my life, I feel I’ve transitioned multi folds. I left my hometown with very little money and a lot of determination. I knew my education wouldn’t fail me, and it didn’t. I realized then that if I have the knowledge, if I have the willingness to fight the odds, I will thrive. And I did!
I have now started working at Accenture as a Business Associate. And it is only the beginning of a long, exciting journey ahead. While I’ve settled in professionally, I continue to talk to my family and make them understand things, slowly but surely. This time again with a lot more confidence and empathy.
I hope that my friends who are reading this will continue to be hopeful. Trans youth must believe that they have a better future — and that we will continue to strive for a fairer, more just society for the future generations.”